Does anyone else feel like they're going to lose their mind? There's so much to be done.

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I live 3 hours away. Did the hospital run, got home health care, cleaned house, back again today and my mom wants me to "just sit and talk to her." There's no time for that - too many errands, laundry cleaning....

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I have a similar problem with my dad. He is 3 hours away. My brothers are 14 hours away, and I am the only one who provides care for our dad. He is 83, had a stroke, bad knees, back, his hearing is shot but he refused to get a hearing aid, even though he wouldnt pay a dime for it , my brother said he would pay the whole cost.

My dad is increasingly grumpy, demanding, and well , very hostile toward me, and I have been with him since his stroke 2 months ago, leaving my house, my kids, my life on hold ever since then. Before that I would come down a couple times a month as he was still fairly self independent, just had no license anymore so I woudl take him to doctors appointments and shopping, as well as do a good cleaning of his house every time I came down. Cleaning is another problem. he cant smell, so his dogs who are not house broken anymore urinate in the house and he doesnt notice it. after years of this happening it seems like no matter how much cleaning I do, its still here. When I came to help long term after his stroke 2 months ago, I used over 5 gallons of bleach and 4 gallons of Pine Sole just to make his house tolerable to visitors. Which are few these days, but more important was to make it clean and safe for my dad, myself, and my kids when I bring them down. Which is also something they dont want to do anymore because Grampa is not the kind caring person he was before. He is very angry and hostile to everyone who is stays here to help him. But kind as can be if your just visiting..

And to top everything else off , I myself have been disabled for over 13 years after 3000 pounds of steel fell on me at my work, leaving me with spinal cord injury live in extreme pain 24/7 , have spasms and get very little sleep ( just to name a few of my problems) as well as now having very limited disability income. So by the time I pay my house payments, utilities , insurance , and the close to $100 round trip for gas ( I keep my custody schedule with my daughters and drive the 400 miles round trip every Friday to either drop them off or pick them up. Then the ware and tear on my already aging car has cost a couple extra thousand too, as well as having to buy food and supplies for myself, my kids, and my dad. And my dad is not broke by any means, but he is just so cheap he wont spend money on anything. For example, his hot water heater broke down, and he offered to give me $75 for parts, that cost me $200 for, but didnt want to pay a dollar more because in his mind they shouldnt cost that much. After all, he bought similar parts back in 1968 and he knows what they should cost. And to discuss anything is a chore and just ends in arguments because he is very head strong and insist he is always right, and everyone else is wrong, and trying to rip him off. Plus his very hard of hearing makes it near impossible.

He doesnt care about anyone else. As long as he gets what he wants when he wants it, he thinks everything is fine. If you try to convience that you need to do something other than what he wants to do, then your trying to screw him over for either money or something else. and then he really can get hostile. For example, he mostly eats soft foods since his 50 year Copenhagen Snuff habit has rotted most of his teeth away. So if I buy anything that is not food he wants, he says I am ripping him off. Funny part is, he isnt paying for the food, I am. But since I am staying at his place taking care of him, he thinks I am using his money, and no matter how I try to show him I am not, he dont believe me. He also treats me often as if I am still 14, and orders me around that way. And as I said, since my brothers are far away, and consider themselves to be more important than I am since they are not disabled like I am, they cant help at all. I cant tell you how many times I have come close to just biting a bullet after I became disabled, it took many years to not constantly think of ending it all. And taking care of my dad has brought all that back with in full force. I know he could care less, and I know no matter what I do for my dad, no one will give a damn about me or him once he is gone.
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Sounds like you are headed in the right direction. Have been through much of what you are going through over the last 7 months with my parents. Much of it was forced on the family because my father refused to recognize that he needed help and that it was time to share their financial situation with us, his adult children.

I could make this very lengthy but I will try to briefly tell you what happened in out situation. I live in the same area as my parents so I did not have to drive 3 hrs to help them out.

In Dec 2012, my 90 yr old father fell (one time too many). Mom, 88, and Dad lived in their own home. They had two chances to move into an ALF of their choosing in the last 10 yrs but turned it down twice. We were forced to wait until something happened to one of them to get them to see they needed more care. You simply cannot MAKE someone who is an adult to do what you want.

My Dad thought we wanted our inheritance early. Since his death (May 25, 2013), I have looked at his detailed records/emails and he consistently wrote to his friends that he was NEVER going to do what we suggested. Dad was a tough cookie. Mom would have moved in a heartbeat!

My mom showed me where there financial records were kept. They traveled a a lot. So, in case something happened, I would know where the will, investments, life insurance, etc. were. When Dad fell and was in the hospital for a week, I had to pull those numbers together for the application to the ALF. They don't have to be exact. As I dug through the papers, I found more money in annuities and other accounts.

All this is to say, our parents still think of us as children to be taken care of. They do not see us as adults. There parents kept financial info from them and they are doing the same to us at their detriment. It is hard to convince a parent why you need to gather this information because it sounds so intrusive. But in reality, by providing and discussing this information opens the door to conversations about "the rest of life" issues.

You didn't say if your mother has a will, general power of attorney, medical directives, HIPAA Instructions, medical power of attorney set up. These are extremely important right now especially if she is in the beginning of a cognitive decline. My mother, who is a very smart woman, could not understand complicated decision making within 4 months of moving her/and my father to ALF, and Health Center (nursing care), respectively. It was a blessing that they had all of those documents.

It is hard to get everything together but you can do it, one step at a time. When you are in it, you think it will never end but God puts the most amazing people in your life to help you resolve these issues as well as provide encouragement.

As I mentioned my Dad just died. My mother is doing OK. She is very practical. Says she misses him but nothing she can do but keep on going. The sad part of their story is that my father could not qualify to live with my mother in the ALF. If he had gone in earlier, when he was healthier, they would have been together. But he chose not to, so he and my mother lived separately during the last months of his life.

I know I am looking at my life through a different lens after watching all of this happen. I think my parents never thought any of this would happen but, I ask myself, why didn't they?

Sorry to make this so long! Oh, I almost forgot, my father (who had Alzheimers Disease) would say many hurtful things. But I continued to do what was best for both of them and treated them in the most dignified way I could.

If you can't get your mom to understand what needs to be done, try getting a friend of hers to speak to her. I found that my parents were more receptive to them than a family member. It is just a different dynamic!

Be thinking and praying for you!
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My Mom is home after 5 days in the hospital. We just finished 2 weeks of amazing Home Health care called The Nurse Next Door. Not covered by Medicare but they drive, make appointments, light cleaning (not what I've been doing) and shopping. I'd love to see my mom in assisted living and have been looking for a new job s that I could move to an over 55 apartment complex and possibly have her live with me. I probably could NOT handle that. We have no idea what her finances are. too long a story for this forum. If we can find out we can help her make choices. She doesn't see anything wrong with how she's been living for over 30 years. Her home is absolutely awful! She plays us against each other, always has. I'm taking a few days off and letting cousin handle her over the phone.
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I agree with Geewiz. My mom tells me stuff and has forgotten it five minutes later, including stuff she's mad about.

I'm still not clear on your mom's situation. She lives 3 hours from you but is in some kind of care right now (hospital maybe) and you're trying to get her into a more permanent situation? Is that right? Does she have dementia? Does she have financing to get her into some place that can help her more day-to-day?
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Personally, I wouldn't just take the comments to the cousin as gospel. If there is a mental decline, she may not remember that comment an hour later. Have you been able to make any progress with the clean up of her place?
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Now my mom had my cousin tell me to back off or "she'll sue!" I am so sad. I've been doing everything I can and it's not working. How do I "let go" of the results, live my own life and let y mom know that I love her?
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Today my Mom said maybe it would be better if she died. Hate that. Every time I come back to my home she gets scared and starts talking irrationally. Turned over some details to a sister today. Really like this sight. Thanks everone!
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Jayerderbee it sounds like you have a workable plan - woohoo!! I can tell from your answer you already feel better and more in control. Good luck and keep us posted with how things are going.
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30 day plan is to get her to accept help and figure out finances so that we can make a 3-month plan towards downsizing and possible moving closer to me. can't figure it out without the numbers. I live on the 3rd floor. beautiful riverside apt but 27 stairs. Not gonna happen. I'm looking into a better job so I can move to a 55 and over community and get her assisted living there or close by. Siblings are not close by but are getting daily emails from yours truly. Oldest bought mom a much needed new frig and sent me some $$ since I gave up a weeks pay to go down when mom was in hospital.
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Thank you all so much! I told my mom that next visit we're going to the beach (only 20 minutes away) and putting our toes in the sand. cleaning was necessary because she's closed her in-home animal shelter of 40 years and home health care won't Her Birthday is coming up and we'll get out of the house. Love the idea of a farmer's market or a consignment shop. Best to all!
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